Monday, July 31, 2006

A Plug For Kevin Sites

Hey, a couple of comments from two new commenters (not to mention one from Ben whose constant comments keep us going)! Thanks for tolerating the stark juxtaposition of the conflict in Lebanon with the usual baby fare, but perhaps it can be a reminder to all of us that these people whose homes are being bombed, especially the kids, are someone's babies, loved and doted upon just as much as we do to Eleanor. I read back over the post and see it's a bit dark, and I'll admit I wrote it late one pensive night, face illumined by a screen showing horrible things.

I'm glad some of you read and found the articles helpful. The internet can be a crystal ball showing us so many things, next door and a half a world away, some of which we should look at and others we shouldn't. But one good thing it does is give voice to people like Dr. Accad.

Another voice I've found compelling is that of Kevin Sites. I had previously dismissed his "solo journalism" news site "Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone" on Yahoo! as sensational. Aside from the romantic, adventurous notion of backpacking through remote, war-torn destinations to bring the stories of the people there to the West, his work, I think is quite well done. It preserves the rawness of the expereinces he's having without much time to ovely edit and produce "slick" stories. They feel more true. The video and images he has taken from Tyre particularly are very powerful, and particularly helpful in understanding just what is going on there and how it is shaping the emotional landscape in the Arab world.

Forgive me for another non-eleanor post. She is 1/3 of this Pumpkin with an L, after all.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


New York City,
USA 9-11-01

Lebanon 7-26-06

Context determines meaning.

As many of us wrangle with what to do with this carnage and especially how it fits into our religious worldview, I would like to offer a voice I have found exceedingly disturbing, tenacious and helpful. Martin Accad is the academic dean at the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary in Beirut, Lebanon. You can read his reflections on the ongoing conflict here one American reader's reaction and his response here.

I think this dialogue offers us deeper insight into the complex realities of this conflict and help us resist our deep seated desire to apply reductionistic theologies that let us off the hook for accepting the destruction of buildings with airplanes as justified.

(and yes I'm aware of the irony of this sort of thing being written by the son of a fighter-pilot)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Same or Boring?

Eleanor and I went to the baby story time at the library this morning. I was really excited to find such a program, as I had checked a few months ago and found nothing. The best part is the scheduling--it's not during nap time! We met with nine other parent/baby couples and sang songs, finger plays, and even read a book or too. Eleanor clapped my hands, as she prefers holding my hands and making them clap as to clapping her own hands. (Right now she is playing with a straw, a small piece of tissue paper, and a plastic hanger.) We enjoyed meeting other babies and parents. As we were parking, I noticed another mom getting out of a car that had an OBU sticker on it. She saw me and said, "Did you go to OBU?" She recognized me, get this, not from classes or being around campus, but from a photography show that Matt did our last semester. There were several pictures with me in, does that make me a famous model?

When we got home from the library, I was quite excited to see a package in our (very small) mailbox. It was a very cute (and very big) Chinese outfit that Becca and Luke had sent from Chinatown. Apparently there had been a misunderstanding with the Chinese lady who sold it to them and the sizing got mixed up (imagine that, a misunderstanding in cross cultural communication...). Anyway, it's still really pretty and Eleanor will be able to wear it within the next three years, I'm sure. I put the shirt on Eleanor this afternoon for a few pictures. (Now she's playing with the same straw and a wooden ice cream stick.)

I added a couple other pictures just for fun. Enjoy (and comment, you lurkers!!).

Friday, July 21, 2006

Shadow Play

The other morning I heard Eleanor in the kitchen. She tends to race in there if I ever leave the door open. When I went to get her, this is how I found her, enthralled by her own shadow.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

And a Barn Full of Memories

Friday when I went shopping, I found Gerber baby foods on sale for 13 cents per jar. I don't think I'll have to buy any more. Especially since Eleanor is much more interested in feeding herself than being fed (aren't we all?).

Here is a veiw from one of our windows.

Does this bring back memories for anyone else? I found this barn complete with several animals and people at a rummage sale.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Post 153

I'm not sure what this expression is, but I thought it was funny.

Silas came over to play yesterday. His mom thought that he was coming over to nap, but Eleanor and Silas conspired against us and decided that playing was much more fun than sleeping. When I tried to put one or the other down for their respective naps, I saw firsthand empathy crying. Eventually, they convinced me to just let them play. Here they are looking at pictures on the tv. (Matt the genius connected the computer to the tv, so the picture screen saver was playing on the tv).

Friday, July 07, 2006

Old and New

We very much miss our friends who have moved to various coasts.*

At the same time, we welcome and enjoy the company of friends who have moved here.

We do not miss the old floor that was in Eleanor's room.

We are very happy with the new floor that my dad put in. He let me use the nail gun. It was fun.

I had to wake Eleanor up from this peaceful slumber to make an evening appointment.

*In the picture, Brandy is holding a white picture frame that we received as a wedding gift. If you know who gave that gift (given at the wedding), please let us know. The card must have been either forgotten or separated from the gift and I have been wondering about it for three years now. A reward will be given to anyone who has information which leads to the solving of the mystery.

USA is Getting Smart

I have a new dream car.

These Smart Cars, which have been available in Europe for years, will be available in the US in 2008. Unfortunately, they don't have a backseat for a carseat. So, if you don't have a carseat that needs a backseat, consider allowing me to live vicariously through you and your new Smart Car. There are a lot of advantages, including incredible gas mileage (50-60+ mpg). Also, you would never have to help your friends move.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Happy 11/12 Birthday Eleanor!

Thank you all for all the great captions! We will have another caption contest soon. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, here are some pictures with captions already added to enjoy. Feel free to add your own captions if you really want to though.

This past weekend we went to visit Matt's parents and brothers and cats. On the way there, we stopped by Petit Jean State Park and hiked a trail that we have never been on before. We also showed Eleanor where we were married, but she wasn't overly interested. She's so self-involved. Here are a few pictures from Petit Jean.

Have you ever seen a tree eating a rock? Now you have.

Eleanor loved playing with the most laid back cat ever, Todd. She likes to "pet" animals, which is more like slapping. Todd barely even batted his eyes to her attacks.

Back home and picking out some reading material.

Eleanor really enjoyed swimming, but we didn't get a picture of her in the pool with our camera. She also liked the cows, the trampoline, and the porch swing.

My favorite conversation from the weekend:
We were chatting with John, a family friend who works at Wal-Mart. He was joking around that you could have anything done at a Wal-Mart super center, from your taxes to a haircut.
"It's actually the same person, they do your taxes while they cut your hair." (unsure origin)
Matt (imagining himself in the hypothetical shop): "No, no! The ten-ninty is the form I needed, not the haircut I wanted!"